Back in September 2019, King of the Ring winner Baron Corbin made some comments that rubbed a lot of people the wrong way, about how anyone who can’t find success in WWE has only themselves to blame.
In a recent appearance on Peter Rosenberg’s Cheap Heat podcast, however, Corbin acknowledged that Vince McMahon has always been a fan of his because Corbin is a big, old school wrestling guy who seems tough. He also talked at length about his all important repackaging in 2018, from a stringy haired biker type into a bald authority figure who wore dress clothes to the ring. (transcript by Wrestling Inc.)
It was one of those things where Vince McMahon called me into his office and said that what I am doing is okay, but we need to do something to get you to another level. We need to make a change, we need to do something. I’ve been asking to cut my hair for probably a year at that point. I think I just finished my feud for the U.S Championship with AJ Styles. We had a triple threat match, I believe, with Dolph Ziggler and Bobby Roode, where Dolph Ziggler won and then quit the next night. He won my championship and then quit the next night, that was great. I think there was a little bit of stuff there for a minute and then there was the Draft where I went to RAW and that was where Vince McMahon said, ‘Let’s pull back for a minute and let’s take you off television, and see where we can go from here.’ It wasn’t a nervous moment when it happened because if he’s investing time to have a conversation with you, he is going to invest time on television.
I think Vince McMahon has been a fan of mine because I’m a big dude, a little bit old school, and have legitimate toughness. He sees motivation in certain guys and certain guys want to have it and some don’t. I knew it was a repackage. It was a thing that I needed as well because there are just so many angry, bad guys, and I think we were trying to add some complexity to it and give it some different levels, and give me some different levels. And I think that is what people connect to.
When it’s just one thing, when one guy is just big and angry, there isn’t a connection. So let’s just find something where people can connect to as an audience, and that was where we came up with, ‘Constable Corbin’. Vince McMahon came up with it. It was a funny process because he goes to me, ‘What do you see yourself wearing?’ I’m like, ‘Well, I don’t even know what a constable is.’ So I’m over here doing research and it’s like a bobby over in England, and I say, ‘Please don’t make me wear a stupid hat.’ I asked if he saw me wearing dress clothes and he goes, ‘No, not dress clothes,’ and then I came in two weeks later and he said that he sees me in dress clothes. So I was like, ‘Okay, I’m wearing dress clothes.’
Is it possible that King Corbin was staying in character as an obnoxious egotist when talking to current WWE preshow panelist Sam Roberts, but decided to be more candid with former WWE preshow panelist Peter Rosenberg? Or maybe he was just in a more insightful mood. In any case, you can check out the full interview, in which Corbin goes on to talk about how much he got out of his big feud with WWE Hall-of-Famer Kurt Angle.